Pakistan’s FIFA ban could be lifted following Lahore High Court judgement


Lahore:-A judgement by the Lahore High Court (LHC) reinstating Faisal Saleh Hayat as the president of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) may lead to the lifting of the FIFA ban imposed on Pakistan in September 2015.

The LHC judgement by Justice Ayesha A. Malik upholds the results of the disputed PFF elections held in June 2015 ordering the administrator, who was appointed by the court in August 2015 to “immediately hand over the control of PFF in terms of election result dated 30.6.2015”.

Justice Ayesha A. Malik also said that the original court judge had “erred by interfering in the election process and could not have annulled the elections held on 30.6.2015 or appointed an Administrator.”

In addition the LHC releases the PFF from control by the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) — the country’s sports regulatory authority saying. “Admittedly the PFF is a private association of persons which was affiliated with the PSB for some time however subsequent to the year 2012, PSB stopped funding PFF and PFF being member of FIFA was compliant with the FIFA Statutes.”

The court, however, also upheld the elections held for the Punjab Football Association which were won by members of Hayat’s rival faction.

The dilemma for FIFA is that the PFF is still riven by internal conflict between the two factions and the two-year mandate given to Hayat by FIFA in September 2015 has expired.

With the original conditions for the lifting of FIFA’s ban now having been lifted and Hayat back in control of the PFF, it seems likely the FIFA ban will be lifted. However, FIFA may decide to appoint a normalisation committee to hold new elections to bring the dispute to an end.

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